Saturday, October 18, 2014

ISIS in Retreat, Fascism on the March

    ISIS repulsed at Ayn Al-Arab, Fascism on the March in Ukraine

   In Syria the town of Ayn Al-Arab also known as Kobane has been under attack for over a month by the ISIL aka IS aka ISIS. However the YPG forces there have successfully repulsed the attack so far and are claiming victory. In Ukraine meanwhile the Fascists were holding massive parades celebrating their Nazi heritage, and Lionizing murderous war criminal Stephan Bandera. In Novorossiya arrests began of NAF (Novorossiyan Armed Forces) members opposed to the treacherous Minsk Protocol began.
    Currently the situation in South West Asia (better known as the middle east) is extremely confusing some strange and secret back room deals are doubtless being arranged. Just a theory but I sense some strange goings on and things are definitely in a state of flux behind the scenes as the possibility of the Iran Nuclear negotiations coming to a successful conclusion next  month approaches. Just my way of warning that there is undoubtedly more to the story then I know or understand. The strange intersecting alliances of the kurds make my head spin both Seemingly allied to and enemies of Turkey, Syria, and Iran. Plus their long history of collaboration with the US and Israel. They practically embody the complexity of the middle east where enemies may secretly be allies allies secretly enemies. Actually the whole world is no different. This is why when I was a kid back in the 80's seemingly everyone had thrown up their hands about ever understanding the middle east. Hence the need to create a simplistic narrative of a war on terrorism in order to convince the western public to back waging war in the region.
     So yes there is doubtless more to the story, things going on behind the scenes that  I don't understand  but regardless the fact remains that on a purely human level I couldn't help getting caught up in the drama of the siege of Kobane as it is commonly called. Doubtless it reminded me of tiny Novorossiya continuously under assault by genocidal Fascists.  Here we had a town surrounded and under assault by the genocidal forces of ISIS intent on slaughtering the inhabitants and turning it into a strategic foot hold for it's war on Syria. Also similar to Novorossiya many of the towns defenders are women. There is something revolutionary about women carrying machine guns because until recently usually it was more revolutionary societies that had women fighting on their behalf from the Soviet women who battled the Nazis  to the Vietnamese women who fought the americans to women's long involvement in revolutionary struggle in Africa and Latin America. Of course the whole thing can be co-opted and Imperialism can and has been sold as female empowerment. Today many women also fight on behalf of Fascism in Ukraine and serve in the ranks of the armies of the US and it's allies. Still the irony of watching the ISIS death squads steeped in the backwards Ideology of their GCC allies where Women are denied anything even approaching equality being beaten by armed militias composed of women is absolutely delightful. (although I recently discovered the still greater irony that ISIS has created it's own female units) It should not be forgotten however that many women have also fought and died in the Syrian Arab Army as well and some commentators seem to imagine this is the first time Muslim women have ever picked up arms. How quickly they forget Libya where many women died fighting the Al-Qaeda linked death squads which backed by NATO airstrikes managed to completely destroy the country. A recent example but hardly an early one. Even Afghanistan has a long history of women warriors among one of it's ethnic groups. And to end this long tangent with a tangent In ancient times Central Asia was home to the Scythians whose women warriors inspired the greek myth of the Amazons.
    So to return to Ayn Al-Arab surrounded by ISIS on 3 sides and seemingly doomed. So far the YPG have managed to repulse the ISIS assault for over a month. They forced ISIS into a full retreat but ISIS has already regrouped and begun a counter attack. Their victory has proved merely a temporary one and the battle will continue. Some have argued that the whole crisis backfired on the US plans for Syria as once international attention began to mount the US was forced to pause it's usual strategy of bombing empty desert and Syrian infrastructure and actually target ISIS for once. Iran supplied the YPG with weapons. However it is largely thanks to YPG fighters that the town has been able to resist far longer then expected and only a week ago people were claiming the town was about to be captured. Now they are on the offensive against the ISIS forces.  Meanwhile the conflict is further destabilizing the region where across the boarder in Turkey the conflict is causing clashes between Protestors and police. I happened to come across an interesting set of maps today from the US state department called the Iraq-Syria Conflict without borders map October which contained a set of maps covering not just Iraq and Syria but also the border regions of Jordan Turkey and Lebanon. Soon we'll have to abandon the newly coined Syraq War and replace it with a long acronym made up of all the nations this war has spread into.
    I came across a great summary of the first month of fighting on the excellent news site here is the YPG's version of events.

Week 1
The YPG has been involved in a merciless resistance to ISIS gangs since they began to attack Kobanê on September 15th. In the first week of the fighting there were 17 major clashes. 232 ISIS fighters were killed. 4 tanks’ 20 military vehicles, and 7 truck-mounted dushkas were destroyed. 17 kalashnikovs, 2 M-16s, 1 motor launcher, 1 BKC machine gun, 1 rocket launcher and various military equipment were seized. A total of 32 YPG and YPJ fighters also lost their lives in these clashes.
Week 2
In the second week of the fighting two ISIS headquarters were destroyed, along with 4 tanks, 3 dushkas (23 ve 14.5), 9 military vehicles, 1 humvee, 2 motorcycles and one mortar launcher were destroyed. 7 kalashnikovs were also captured. In this week’s fighting 294 ISIS fighters were killed. 32 YPG/YPJ fighters also lost their lives. They also carried out 5 suicide (fedai) attacks on the city’s western front. 5 fighters from the Burkan El-Firat also lost their lives.
Week 3
As fighting intensified in the third week the ISIS gangs were dealt many hard blows. 2 tanks, three motor launchers (2 23s and 1 14), one humvee, 7 military vehicles, and truck bomb (together with two occupants) were destroyed. 10 kalashnikovs, 1 B7 Karnas sniper rifle, and 2 night-vision binoculars were captured. Over the course of the week fighting broke out at 50 different points and 351 ISIS gang members were killed. A total of 41 YPG/YPJ fighters were also killed. It was this week that Arîn Mîrxan killed tens of ISIS fighters with her suicide (fedai) attack and became the symbol of Kobanê among the Kurds and the world. 4 Burkan El-Firat fighters also lost their lives.
Week 4
As a result of the stiff resistance shown by the YPG/YPJ and the people of Kobanê a strategic area controlled by ISIS was liberated. 4 military vehicles, 1 transport vehicle full of arms, 3 trucks, 5 truck bombs, 1 motorcycle, 1 57. mortar launcher, 3 RPGs with ammunition, 21 light weapons, 16 kalashnikovs, 3 BKCs and a large quantity of ammunition were captured. 417 ISIS gang members were killed in the course of the week’s fighting. 24 YPG/YPJ fighters – including YPJ commander Rojda Axîn – also lost their lives in the fighting.

    In Ukraine meanwhile the bloody so called ceasefire continues. In other words the war continued. The Phony Ceasefire has become symbolized for both sides by the Endless battle for the Donetsk Airport. People always mock soviet architecture but clearly the Donetsk Airport built for use in world war 3 was in terms of sturdiness a masterpiece. It is not so much the Airport on the Surface but the massive underground base beneath it that makes it so hard to capture. Although most of the airport has been captured by the NAF there are still UA forces dug in there. The Airport is where the Ukrainian army shells Donetsk from every day randomly killing more civilians in the city. Thus the NAF have been trying for months to eject the UA (Ukrainian army) and the Nazi national Guard units from the airport in a bloody and costly battle. The defenders are apparently ready to fight to death for the privilege of shelling Donetsk day after day. The battle has made yet another NAF commander famous this time Givi. Currently the NAF has control over the perimeter and has been successfully repelling attempts by the UA forces to reinforce the men still there and regain control of the Airport.
    In Ukraine the fascists were on the march celebrating the founding of the Ukraine insurgent army responsible for a full catalog of war crimes ( published a terrifying translation of an article cataloging in depth their many crimes) Any terrible thing you can imagine and plenty you can't imagine they did and they were experts in torture, rape, mutilation and murder. Yet for the Ukrainian Fascists these are heroes worthy of honor and to mark the occasion they held marches. They marched in the capital Kiev where they also seem to be involved in one constant Riot demanding that parliament move more quickly to make Ukraine a more Fascist country. They marched in Kharkov where they had earlier shipped in a band of rowdies to Demolish Ukraine's tallest statue of Lenin. A man who tried to stop them was severely beaten and died the next day. They posed on the pedestal waving their slightly modified wolfsangel flags creating yet another embarrassment for the "there are no Nazi's in Ukraine" crowd when the photos went viral. Unlike Kiev the march in Kharkov was on enemy territory the population wanted to join Novorossiya but Kiev crushed their attempted revolt. They Also marched in Odessa the scene at the beginning of the war of the brutal Odessa massacre where between 39 and 150 people were beaten, Strangled, shot, and burnt to death. This was also meant to intimidate the locals many of whom are opposed to the Kiev regime.
    Meanwhile the treacherous Minsk Protocol continues to be implemented. In the eyes of the west the protocol basically makes Russia responsible for getting the NAF to lay down their arms since both kiev and the the US love to blur the line between the NAF and Russian troops. Western diplomats say Russia must withdraw it's troops when what they really mean is that Russia must use it's influence to get the NAF to eventually lay down their arms. Although an actual surrender is still far off Russia is already trying to re-assert control. Although it was a handicap in co-ordianting the war effort the fact that the NAF is made up of a bunch of separate forces loyal to separate commanders should help make it difficult to bring the NAF fully under control or force a surrender. However Russia is using it's leverage to try to impose obedience.   Arms deliveries have slowed some even say stopped. Worse the newly installed head of the DPR Alexander Zhakharenko who took power thanks to a cynical scheme that forced Strelkov to resign, has begun locking up fighters who oppose the Minsk Protocol. Many were heroes of the Siege of Slavyansk. Men who have served under Srtelkov, Mozgovoi, and Motorolla have all been locked up. A disgraceful bit of treason that no doubt foreshadows worse to come. The people of Novorossiya must some how express their will. There are plans to hold an election parallel to the one Ukraine is holding on October 25 although the conditions are hardly ideal to say the least. Hopefully some leader loyal to Novorossiya rather than the kremlin can be found. If that fails the NAF itself will have to take action unless they want to face exile or worse. When the conflict began many would have been satisfied with some vague autonomy but after the thousands killed, the hundreds of thousands forced to flee as homeless refugees, and the massive destruction of factories, schools, hospitals, plus the strain of undergoing months of shelling, most doubtless never want to be part of Ukraine again. Ideally they could hold a referendum on the Minsk protocols themselves, many may just want the war to end. However they would be extremely foolish to put themselves at the mercy of the Kiev regime which would no doubt take a terrible revenge on the populace for all the troops it lost and all the humiliations it suffered. A regime that has only become more openly Fascist as the war has continued. In fact it was not just fascist groups like right sector and the Azov battalion that were busy Lionizing Stephan Bandera's OUN-B death squads. Poroshenko himself praised them. I fear that any surrender would make any "Peace" far bloodier then the current war which is labeled a ceasefire. Ukraine is not a normal country rather a place where politicians have themselves filmed murdering the opposition and face zero consequences despite making the footage publicly available. A place where Fascist mobs roam the streets terrorizing people with zero consequence. A place where no one knows how many people have been kidnapped, tortured, and murdered so far. Clearly it is not a country which would be safe for anyone suspected of sympathizing with separatism and every one living in Novorossiyan territory would be suspects.
    In Syria ISIL suffered a major setback when it's month long campaign to capture the town of Ayn Al-Arab failed. The towns defenders now plan to go on to the offensive. In Novorossiya the battle for Donetsk airport continued. As did the Shelling of Donetsk. Fascists marched the streets of Ukraine glorifying war criminals and destroying helpless Lenin statues. Meanwhile Ukraine and Russia planned the capitulation of Novorossiya. Zakharenko began imprisoning those who were strongly opposed to the Minsk Protocol.


I definitely recommend  as a source for news on the war in Syria.

Here's the article I copied the excerpt from

And read an account of the atrocities committed by the Ukrainian Insurgent Army. warning this is very disturbing to read.

Gleb Bazov's now classic Analysis of the Minsk Protocol

Eric Draitser on the role of Iran

Recent events in the war in Syria

And check out Vladimir Suchan's blog for witty articles on the politics of the Ukraine civil war and the Russian response

I don't know if there is an account in english on the arrests in Novorossiya yet I first heard about it thanks to following @Steiner1776 and @Ofehr_en on twitter